READY TO OPEN                                Green Gaia in Summerland will open its doors on Summerland. Katerina Bakalos says the store has waited close to a year for approval to operate the cannabis retail store.                                (Summerland Review file photo)

READY TO OPEN Green Gaia in Summerland will open its doors on Summerland. Katerina Bakalos says the store has waited close to a year for approval to operate the cannabis retail store. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland cannabis store to open on Sept. 21

Approval process for Green Gaia took almost a year

After months of waiting a cannabis retail store in Summerland is ready to begin selling its product.

Green Gaia, at 7519 Prairie Valley Rd., will open its doors on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The store will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We are so excited to be able to offer the public a wide variety of products such as flower, capsules, oils, and oral sprays,” said Katerina Bakalos of Green Gaia. “Our grand opening will be in early October when the mayor and council members are available to attend.”

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Green Gaia applied for a license to sell retail cannabis in the fall of 2018 and Bakalos had expected to receive provincial approval before the end of December.

Approval from the municipality came on Dec. 10, 2018, but the province did not grant its approval until Aug. 16.

“We’ve been waiting almost a full year,” Bakalos said. “We’ve all had to exercise our patience.”

Over the past year, customers often came in to the store to ask when the product would be available. While Green Gaia could sell accessories, the store was not able to sell cannabis.

Eventually, the store was closed as Bakalos waited for provincial approval.

While the approval process was lengthy, Bakalos said the standards are necessary.

“What we are going to be selling is properly regulated,” she said.

The business plans to hold a formal grand opening in early October, when Mayor Toni Boot and council members are available to attend. Bakalos is planning a block party for the grand opening.

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Summerland cannabis store to open on Sept. 21